Posts tagged ‘losing democracy’

Who Said it Best

Sometimes someone says something that is so on point that no comment is necessary. Here is Madeleine Albright on the danger Fascism and President DFF:

Instead of mobilizing international coalitions to take on world problems, he [President DFF] touts the doctrine of “every nation for itself” and has led America into isolated positions on trade, climate change and Middle East peace. Instead of engaging in creative diplomacy, he has insulted United States neighbors and allies, walked away from key international agreements, mocked multilateral organizations and stripped the State Department of its resources and role. Instead of standing up for the values of a free society, Mr. Trump, with his oft-vented scorn for democracy’s building blocks, has strengthened the hands of dictators. No longer need they fear United States criticism regarding human rights or civil liberties. On the contrary, they can and do point to Mr. Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions.

At one time or another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media, defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions. He libels immigrants and the countries from which they come. His words are so often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions. Overseas, rather than stand up to bullies, Mr. Trump appears to like bullies, and they are delighted to have him represent the American brand. If one were to draft a script chronicling fascism’s resurrection, the abdication of America’s moral leadership would make a credible first scene.

Equally alarming is the chance that Mr. Trump will set in motion events that neither he nor anyone else can control. His policy toward North Korea changes by the day and might quickly return to saber-rattling should Pyongyang prove stubborn before or during talks. His threat to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement could unravel a pact that has made the world safer and could undermine America’s reputation for trustworthiness at a critical moment. His support of protectionist tariffs invites retaliation from major trading partners — creating unnecessary conflicts and putting at risk millions of export-dependent jobs. The recent purge of his national security team raises new questions about the quality of advice he will receive. John Bolton starts work in the White House on Monday.

…To me, greatness goes a little deeper than how much marble we put in our hotel lobbies and whether we have a Soviet-style military parade. America at its best is a place where people from a multitude of backgrounds work together to safeguard the rights and enrich the lives of all. That’s the example we have always aspired to set and the model people around the world hunger to see. And no politician, not even one in the Oval Office, should be allowed to tarnish that dream.

The fact the Middle America and Red States in general don’t get this just boggles my mind.

The Problem with America is that the Majority No Longer Rules

Well we are a representative democracy, but even then we are failing at that. We have gridlock and our Federal government seems (and is) paralysed because the democracy the Founders designed no longer exists.  We are controlled by the tyranny of the Minority/Majority, and we have done most of this to ourselves.  Let me explain.

Let’s start with the Senate.  The Founders wanted a more deliberative body and were faced with the fact that the smaller states were afraid they would not have proportional representation in the Senate.  So we  get the rule of two Senators for each state elected every six years.  The trouble is that what began as a reasonable compromise for small state representation in 13 small states, has gotten out of control where for every one voter who votes for a Senator in Wyoming, 63 must vote for one in California.

Said another way, the vote of one Senator from California represents 63 times the number of people as the vote of one Senator from Wyoming.  Most small state Senators are conservative Republicans which gives conservatives much more power in the Senate than is justified by the number of people who voted for them  (tyranny of the minority)

Oh, but it gets better.   Now comes the filibuster.  Senators wanted to make sure that cooler heads prevail when really contentious issues were voted on, so they gave the minority through a super vote requirement (today 60 votes necessary to pass any legislation) an ability to slow things down.  This worked out okay in less contentious times, but now the Republicans use it on almost all legislation which means that nothing is going to get through the Senate if a minority of 41 Senators agrees to filibuster (tyranny of the minority).

Continue reading ‘The Problem with America is that the Majority No Longer Rules’ »